the pyongyang metro
about this site
One of the best sites about the DPRK
Lonely Planet Korea
This is a non-commercial, unofficial site. I have no connection with the Pyongyang Metro, nor with any other North Korean agency. The only point of this site is to find out as much as possible about a North Korean military nuclear installation disguised as a subway. Unfortunately, a lot of people dont seem to realize this, as I get quite a lot of e-mail asking to pass this message on to your government, or requesting maps or contracting information. To be fair, a lot of this (but by no means all) is from people whose English is poor and who might not have understood the site. But let me repeat: This is an unofficial site with no connection to North Korea, and offers no endorsement of its government or its policies.
This site is copyrighted. It is not public domain. You do not have the right to copy or paraphrase from it at length without permission. This site is copyright © me, Simon Bone, 1998-2005, except for the bits that arent actually by me, where copyright resides with their respective owners. If I have inadvertently failed to secure permission to include your copyrighted material on this site, please let me know and I will remove it. I have no control over the information provided by external links, which are presented on this site without any endorsement of their content. Considering all I usually ask for is a link or acknowledgement, its very boorish to copy from this site, but a couple of North Korea guidebooks, as well as several internet sites, have done just that. (Sigh.)
One more thing, although I read all correspondence that I receive, I often do not have the time to reply to it all, but I am nonetheless grateful for it, and any useful information you send me will be incorporated into the site sooner or later.
In case youre interested, the site was created on an ancient Macintosh PowerBook 540c using BBEdit Lite and revised on a series of Windows computers using Notepad. No HTML editors were used.
Im always looking for ways to improve this site, and if you have any comments, or stuff you want to send me, please write to me. Here are some things Id like to see:
- If you have another language version of the Pyongyang Metro guidebook, especially Korean or German, please type in the text and send it to me. A translation of the English just wouldnt be the same.
- If anyone has pictures of stations other than Puhung and Yonggwang, thus confirming the existence of the rest of the Metro system, I would like to see them.
- Of course, any information about the Metro (photos, future plans, running procedure, etc.) would be appreciated.
And yes, you can link to this site. If you like, you can use the following banner. It was created by Allen Zagel, based on Jonathan Chandlers entry-page graphic:
(Note: For North Koreans, 2009 is Juche Year 98, 2008 is 97, and so on; Year 1 was 1912, the year of Kim Il Sungs birth; they unfortunately missed the opportunity to start a calendar with a year zero.)
- Moved the site once again, as it disappeared without warning from the previous host, perhaps due to my failure to update it, or because the web space allotment was taken up with an ever-swelling statistics log of minor interest that required constant deletion.
- There has been absolutely no work on this site since last year, due to my second child being diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. (He is doing well so far, as it was discovered relatively early.)
- However, there is plenty of new material to be added, including a great series of pictures of the other stations sent to me in 2005, just before my hard drive crashed; there are also pictures of former Berlin trains being used on other lines, leading me to revise my guesswork regarding the extent of any private or military systems that may be in use.
- Yes, there has not been a lot of activity on this site lately. Most of this is thanks to my time being taken up by my baby daughter. However, lots of you have written with suggestions and improvements, and I will be adding this backlog over the next few days.
- One thing that gets a lot of requests is my own North Korea travelogue, formerly on my presently unavailable website. It is now available on this one. (You might also like my travelogue about Cuba.)
- The forum is now gone, as it too was filled with junk entries. I tried to fiddle with this to prevent this from happening in future, but then decided the signal-to-noise ratio was too low to bother. Ill look into alternatives, like a wiki.
- Speaking of wikis, added map from Wikimedia Commons.
- Several people have written to point out how this site has brazenly copied my kimchi page without attribution, rather comically adding a copyright notice as well. Sigh.
- Ive added several links and made some corrections. No big deal, but thanks to Masato, Peter, and Corundum.
- Thanks to Mark, I have pictures of the murals in several station, thus simultaneously proving their existence. He sent me the pictures several months ago, and I may make a separate murals page to accommodate them. Sorry for not putting them on the site yet.
- I had to axe the guestbook as it was useless due to the large amount of spam it received, which in turn almost used up the alloted disk space. I desperately need to find another with captcha or password protection, which is (surprisingly) a feature missing from most guestbooks.
- I still need to find a proper job, so the website will unfortunately have to take a back seat to this. Send me an e-mail if you would like to hire me.
- Another Averatec laptop stopped working after six weeks (note: the amount of time it took them to fix the previous one) and they refused to repair it due to the fact I was outside the country where I had bought it. Fortunately, I had someone take it to Staples, where I bought it, and they happily refunded my money. Bear this, and my previous experience, in mind if you are contemplating buying an Averatec computer. (On the other hand, hooray for Staples.)
- Youve probably noticed that the guestbook is full of autogenerated spam. Im not happy about this, as there are about 20 real entries hidden in there, but so far I havent been able to find a good guestbook program, namely one containing security measures to prevent that sort of thing happening. If anyone has any tips, please let me know.
- The forum isnt getting much use, and it has had three entries in two months. Although these entries were helpful, it looks like there just might not be much demand for a forum, so I might remove it.
- Also, a page with station pictures in in the works, thanks to someone who visited some of the other stations and took pictures of the murals.
- I fixed the problems of last week. I fiddled with my firewall settings all over the place only to realize I had gone over disk quota. Deleted a couple of things, and hey presto.
- There are now a guestbook and a forum. Now we can all discuss the Metro together.
- The site is once again available at both pyongyang-metro.com and pyongyangmetro.com. What's more, the kimchi recipe is now available at kimchi.pyongyang-metro.com.
- I removed the dead links from the links page, updating them where necessary. I think Ive fixed all the other dead links on the site, but you never know.
- Have added several things to the text, including some pictures Corundum gave me ages ago that I thought Id already uploaded. Sorry about that.
- Have come across more plagiarized text and pictures from this site on other websites. Sigh.
- The DVD drive in my Averatec notebook burned out and they took six weeks to fix it, retaining my computer for the whole time. This stopped any work on this site. Bear this in mind if you are thinking of buying an Averatec computer.
- My entirely pointless hiatus is over.
- Corundum has been a great help with providing info and pictures, as have Kitty, Eun-Suk, and others. Ill put these submissions up as soon as I can.
- Part of the problem was the Freeservers account this site had been on (as my personal site, not updated in a long time, still is). While I think Freeservers are a fine company, it's a real pain to use without FTP.
- What's more, the Freeservers guestbook filled up with spam of the worst sort very quickly, as it had no security measures to prevent this.
- Because of this, the guestbook is currently down, but I am looking for a new one.
- I should also mention the film Team America: World Police. I loved the movie (not surprising, Im a big South Park fan to begin with), and I thought that the portrayal of Kim Jong Il was pretty accurate, right down to the framed pictures of Scandinavian beauties on his grand piano. What struck me immediately was how similar the North Korean Melody featured in the film sounded to Reunification Rainbow, as hosted here; some of the North Korean interiors looked a bit like Puhung station as well.... I would be delighted if Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Pam Brady had used this site in their research for the film.
- One more thing, I was recently asked to write an article (actually, more like draw a map) for a major US magazine about the metro. Im not certain this will happen, though, as they seemed to have assumed that I know the locations of all sorts of secret military facilities that are, by definition, secret. We shall see if anything comes of this.
- Did I mention www.fluidwebdesign.com?
- The exact routing of the trams has been cleared up, thanks (again) to Corundum.
- It has come to my attention that at least two printed travel guides have more or less directly copied content from this site, without offering any attribution (which is all I usually ask for). One of them is a German-language guidebook, and its page of information about the Metro was clearly taken from this site, and its maps of Pyongyang and the Metro were evidently from here, too; however, it does not mention this site, except for listing it elsewhere under North Korean media landscape, which it is not. I gladly share any information I have with people who write about North Korea, and have done so several times, but this pisses me off.
- The other book is a British guidebook, also published within the past year, which several people tell me has done much the same as the German book. Remember, folks, until this site came along in 1999, there was no comprehensive source of information about the Metro available anywhere. That is why I created it, and yes, it relies on a lot of publically available information and guesswork, but this is no excuse to steal my work and claim it as your own. Like I say, all I usually ask for is attribution.
- As it happens, I have recently published a German-language travelogue excerpt in Nordkorea: Einblicke in ein rätselhaftes Land, compiled by Christoph Moeskes (Ch. Links Verlag, 2004).
- Theres also a Web site out there that has translated much of this site into Chinese without giving any indication that it is being stolen from here. (I will not provide the URL.) The webmaster even wrote to me afterwards asking if I would care to link to his site!
- Not much in the way of changes lately. I earlier agonized about whether to add a section on the tragic, suspicious North Korean railway explosion at Ryongchon in April, but decided it wasnt within the scope of this site (although Syrian weapons technicians were reported killed in the blast).
- Have cleaned up the guestbook. The only way to do this is by editing the HTML. There was lots of spam.
- The old guestbook stopped working, because they started charging for it. I went instead with the built-in Freeservers guestbook, thereby locking me into Freeservers perhaps more than I would like.
- Some minor improvements, based on intelligence reports and information people have sent me.
- After an absence of two years or so, there is again a counter on this site. I have no idea how many people have looked at this until now.
- Happy 30th birthday to the Pyongyang Metro!
- The site is now hosted by Freeservers, hence the popup ad, which I hope isnt too annoying. So far, traffic seems to be within the measly bandwidth they allow, but if this turns out to be a problem, Ill find somewhere else to host it.
- There were some problems with downloading the music files (they are hosted at another site that was intolerant of long file names), but this should now be corrected.
- At long last, this site can be reached at pyongyangmetro.com. Of course, pyongyang-metro.com will continue to work.
- None of your e-mails from the last six months or so have arrived, thanks to FeaturePrice.com. Hence a new e-mail address. Now your mail will actually reach me.
- Lots of problems with the hosting provider, the once great FeaturePrice.com. The site was inexplicably down most of the time, and the e-mail stopped working for good, and there was nothing I could do about it, because FeaturePrice changed my password and then fired all its service staff and went bankrupt due to pissing off all its previously happy customers. I have already removed some of the larger image files due to bandwidth restrictions.
- The music files are back, but might not be there forever, as these are hosted on another site.
- Have added Wesley Woo-duk Chungs Metro construction map. Nice one, Wesley. Expect more Metro maps based on this one, such as tram lines and secret military facilities.
- Even more essential info from Peter Kim Hee Tae regarding Chinese train shipments and from Ernie Lo about trams.
- Have updated the music URLs, as the old one stopped working.
- Wesley Woo-duk Chung is working on a Korean version of this site. Stay tuned.
- Even more corrections and tweaks. Thanks to Wesley Chung and once again to Peter Kim Hee Tae.
- Updated tram and train info, thanks to Peter Kim Hee Tae and David Frazer.
- Added account of tramway construction.
- The usual minor improvements.
- It appears the e-mail address wasnt working properly for a couple of weeks. If you tried to write to me during this time, and you didnt hear anything back, please try again.
- Several minor tweaks. Not much new going on in the rogue-state disguised military tunnel world at the moment.
- Updated information about secret tunnels.
- Changed ISP again.
- More station pictures, courtesy of Leonid Petrov.
- Updated information on several pages.
- Tidied up several pages, especially the tram page. Added info about statistics to please train geeks, as well as Tatra tram identification, gleaned from several sources.
- Added table of train statistics.
- Added picture of German tram, which I insouciantly pilfered from Blickpunkt Straßenbahn, not that its the first time I have done this.
- However, I may soon have some better original photos of trams, trains, and the like, but dont hold your breath.
- This site is now a Yahoo! Surfers Pick. Thanks, Fletcher.
- Improved several pictures, corrected errors, added facts. The usual.
- Added title graphic, courtesy of Jonathan Chandler.
- Lots more tram info, thanks to Martin Strobel and Michael Busse.
- The kimchi recipe is back.
- Added several more pictures, especially to Trams.
- For what its worth, this site is now listed on Yahoo!.
- Quite a lot of corrections and changes. As usual, the more you know, the more you discover you dont.
- Added more train info and gave the trams their own page.
- Made a few corrections to the text, added more pictures, and tidied up a few things, such as missing ALT tags on some graphics.
- Improved interface. Now looks less 1995, but without going off the deep end with graphics. (The purist in me still hates things like font specifications.) Before you complain, it works without frames too.
- Have registered the domain pyongyang-metro.com. Irritatingly, someone in Pennsylvania grabbed pyongyangmetro.com a week earlier, for the purpose of auctioning it off at fair market value. Someone else registered pyongyangsubway.com a few days later this time, at least, it was a Korean.
- The kimchi recipe has moved off the site, for no good reason.
- Added this page.
- Initial version of site, unless you count the single page promising it that had been on the now defunct Webjump for eight months.
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